DoH begins simultaneous vaccination against polio nationwide

Maris Federez
A Filipino child receives an oral polio vaccine during a nationwide mass polio vaccination at a slum area in Manila, Philippines, 14 October 2019. The Philippine health department is holding a week-long massive polio vaccination targeting more than 30,000 children. EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DoH) has started the administration of oral polio vaccine (OPV) among children in several priority areas, such as the National Capital Region and in Mindanao.

The DoH and the Quezon City Health Office target to have more than 266,000 children in Quezon City administered with the anti-polio vaccine.

Close to 300 children in Brgy. Bago Bantay were given the OPV starting at 9 in the morning on Monday (October 14).

“So far wala pa kaming nae-encounter na ayaw ng mga magulang kasi nakikita nila na patak lang it’s non-invasive kung patak lang okay na (So far, we have not encountered parents who are opposed to this because they’ve seen that it is administered orally. It’s non-invasive if it is given orally, so it’s ok),” said Dr. Shane Marte, Medical Officer III at the Bago Bantay Health Center.

According to DoH Spokesperson Usec. Eric Domingo, the first round of the vaccination in several priority areas nationwide, such as the National Capital Region, in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur, Davao City, and Davao del Sur will be from October 14 to 27.

“Lahat ng mga bata na 5 years old pababa ay bibigyan po natin ng patak bakuna po ito kontra polio (All children 5 years old and below will be given the oral vaccine against polio),” Domingo said.

The DoH declared a polio outbreak on September 19 after confirming two cases of the disease in the country.

“Sana po ay abangan nila ano iyong ating mga nagbabakuna. Or mas mabuti rin po dalhin na nila sa center basta po edad 5 years pababa. Hindi po importante kung kumpleto na niya iyong bakuna niya dati or hindi nila sigurado. Lahat po ng bata ay mabibigyan po natin at wala naman pong overdose ito,” Domingo added.

(I hope that they will wait for the health worker who will administer the vaccination. Or better yet, bring their children, 5 years and below, to the health center. It’s not important if they have already completed the vaccine or if they are not sure. All children will be given (the vaccine), there’s no overdose to it.)

The health officials also reminded the public to maintain cleanliness in their surroundings; make handwashing after using the lavatory a habit; drink clean water only, and be clean in preparing food. (from the report of Mai Bermudez) /mbmf

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